Selling doesn’t need to be complicated, indeed the simpler you make it the more successful you’ll be. Often people ask me how to handle objections and how to close the sale. Now there are thousands of books out there with 10001 sales closing and objection handling techniques but my favourite is really simple.

Use the question “What has to happen…” and you’ll be amazed at the effect it can have.

In closing –

  • “What has to happen for you to trial the product?”
  • “What has to happen for you to place an order?”
  • “What has to happen for you to recommend it to your clients?”

In objection handling.

  • “You’re more expensive!” “Yes we are in terms of up front cost, and what would have to happen for you to be convinced that we could save you money in the long term?”
  • “You don’t have experience in our sector” “Yes that’s true and what would need to happen for you to be convinced that we could deliver for you despite that one shortcoming?”

Warning: Don’t confuse this question with its more familiar but much less effective cousin “What do I have to do to….”

The question is deliberately worded to uncover what needs to happen for the client to be convinced or to take action. This could be something you need to do such as present more information, but it could also be an action that the client needs to take such as talk to their boss or simply place the order.

I shared this with an experienced salesman once who was having a problem with a client whom he saw on a regular basis, had great rapport with but who never placed an order. When he finally got round to asking the question he was stunned by the customers response!

“Well you better fill out an order. I’ve been waiting for you to ask for it for the last three months!”

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